GCNet: Non-local Networks Meet Squeeze-Excitation Networks and Beyond


The Non-Local Network (NLNet) presents a pioneering approach for capturing long-range dependencies, via aggregating query-specific global context to each query position. However, through a rigorous empirical analysis, we have found that the global contexts modeled by non-local network are almost the same for different query positions within an image. In this paper, we take advantage of this finding to create a simplified network based on a queryindependent formulation, which maintains the accuracy of NLNet but with significantly less computation. We further observe that this simplified design shares similar structure with Squeeze-Excitation Network (SENet). Hence we unify them into a three-step general framework for global context modeling. Within the general framework, we design a better instantiation, called the global context (GC) block, which is lightweight and can effectively model the global context. The lightweight property allows us to apply it for multiple layers in a backbone network to construct a global context network (GCNet), which generally outperforms both simplified NLNet and SENet on major benchmarks for various recognition tasks. The code and configurations are released at https://github.com/xvjiarui/GCNet.

Internation Conference on Computer Vision Workshop on Neural Architects (ICCVW) 2019 Best Paper Award, submitted to TPAMI Special Issue